Chili Bowl Pole Shuffle’s Top Seed Is Seavey


Logan Seavey will be the top seed in Saturday's Chili Bowl Nationals Pole Shuffle, which has a new format. (Jack Reitz photo)

TULSA, Okla. – With the kind of good fortune that Logan Seavey has had already during the 38th Chili Bowl Nationals powered by NOS Energy Drink, he joked that he might need to buy a lottery ticket.

While Seavey didn’t receive the winning Powerball numbers following Friday’s Hard Rock Casino Qualifying Night program, he did get perhaps the most important number of all: 1.

That was written on the pill Seavey pulled during the draw for the #DoItForGrady Chili Bowl Nationals Pole Shuffle, guaranteeing him a front-row starting spot in Saturday night’s 55-lap championship feature.

Seavey, who won his preliminary night feature just minutes before the Pole Shuffle drawing, guaranteed himself a top-five seeding just because of that victory.

Instead, he watched as the other four preliminary night winners before him – Tanner Carrick (whose pill was drawn by car owner Keith Kunz), Buddy Kofoid, Corey Day (pill drawn by Cole Macedo), and Spencer Bayston – all landed worse seeds than the No. 1 pill.

That left Seavey with the best draw in the building, with which he’ll look to secure the pole position for the Chili Bowl’s grand finale. The Californian is seeking to win back-to-back Golden Driller trophies.

The format for the pole shuffle in recent years has featured races of four cars apiece, which determined who lined up where for the Chili Bowl finale.

Seeds seven through 10 raced in the first four-car dash, with the top two finishers advancing to meet seeds five and six. The top two finishers from the next race then advanced and faced off against seeds three and four.

Then, the top two from that sprint battled against the overall top-two seeds, with the final four-car sprint lining up the first four positions on the grid for Saturday night’s 55-lap championship A-main.

However, a report by SPEED SPORT following Wednesday night’s preliminary program indicated that change is coming to the Pole Shuffle for this year’s edition.

According to the story, Wednesday winner Corey Day tipped that event officials notified teams a time-trial format would take the place of the four-car races seen in recent years.

“I suck at qualifying, so we’ve got work to do,” Day said. “[The] job’s not done.”

The change was confirmed in the early hours of Saturday morning by attending media and event officials.

The New Format

This year’s pole shuffle will see two cars on track at the same time, with the first pairing pitting the Nos. 10 and 9 seeded drivers against one another. However, unlike a king-of-the-hill race – where the first to the finish line advances – the driver turning the fastest lap in each pair will advance to the next round.

Thus, the winner of the 10 vs. 9 matchup will move on to face the No. 8 seed, with the fastest driver in that pair advancing to battle the No. 7 seed.

The process continues until the last remaining driver faces top-seeded Seavey in the pole round. The fastest competitor in that bout will be the polesitter for the Chili Bowl Nationals main event.

The Seedings

Behind Seavey, Monday winner Carrick and Wednesday winner Day are seeded second and third, respectively. Tuesday winner Buddy Kofoid is the fourth seed and Spencer Bayston, who won Thursday night’s preliminary feature, slots in as the fifth-seeded driver.

Tanner Thorson, Ryan Timms, Shane Golobic, Hank Davis, and Jake Swanson are the sixth through 10th seeds for Saturday night’s Pole Shuffle.

The #DoItForGrady Pole Shuffle traditionally begins around 6 p.m. CT during the Saturday program.

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